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2012 CHL Prospects Game Preview Examining Team Cherry Lines

In this piece I examine my thoughts on Team Cherry.  Team Cherry is the team wearing Red in the Prospects game.  Some NHL players could really help their stock tonight.

Line 1 Forwards Tim Bozon Left Wing Kamploops Blazers WHL, Dane Fox center Erie Otters OHL, Martin Frk center/right wing Halifax Mooseheads QMJHL

Line 1 Forward Thoughts Bozon has been a playmaking left winger for the Kampbloops Blazers.  26 goals and 25 assists in 50 games for the Blazers in the WHL.  Dane Fox is currently a memberof the Erie Otters.  Fox was once a member of the London Knights trying to pick a fight with Nail Yakupov in the OHL before getting shipped to the Erie Otters.  Fox can be a grinder who wins face offs.  Fox will play on Team Cherry’s first line.  Martin Frk has the skating and versatility to play center or right wing for the Halifax Mooseheads in the QMJHL.  Frk can be used as a playmaker or a sniper.  Frk brings a little bit of everything to the table.  Frk’s injuries have dropped him from a top 10 pick to a borderline first rounder.

Line 1 Defenseman left blue line defender Matthew Dumba Red Deer Rebels WHL and right blue line defender Nick Ebert Windsor Spitfires OHL

Line 1 Defenseman Thoughts Both Ebert and Dumba are offensive defender.  Ebert is anchoring the blue line on the right side.  Dumba is a top 5 prospect and Ebert was a preseason top 5 pick who looks like a top 20 pick at this point.  Its obvious that Team Cherry wants to use the 5 skaters on line 1 to generate as much scoring as possible.

Line 2 Forwards Brendan Gaunce Center/Left Wing Belleville Bulls OHL, Coda Gordon Center/Left Wing Swift Current Broncos WHL, and Scott Laughton Center/Right Wing Oshawa Generals OHL

Line 2 Forward Thoughts Everyone on Team Cherry’s second line is really versatile.  Line 2 consists of a lot of flashy two way forwards who display playmaking ability.  Gaunce was a playmaker with the size at 6 foot 2 205 pounds.  Gaunce has improved his skating and sniping ability and will play on the second line for Team Cherry in tonights contest.

Line 2 Defenseman left blue line defender Dillon Fournier Rouyn-Noranda Huskies QMJHL right blue line defender Brett Kulak defenseman Vancouver Giants WHL.

Line 2 Defenseman Thoughts Team Cherry’s second line defenders are both offensive defenders as well.

Line 3 Forwards Andrew Ryan Center/Left Wing Halifax Mooseheads QMJHL, Gemel Smith Center Owen Sound Attack, and Dominik Volek Center/Left Wing/Right Wing Regina Pats WHL

Line 3 Forward Thoughts Andrew Ryan has two way forward ability.  Besides his athleticism he does not offer much at this point.  Ryan has struggled from an offensive and defensive aspect in 2011.  Ryan’s athleticism makes him an intriguing developmental pick who can make an AHL roster on the back 6 once he develops. Gemel Smith is starting to peak.  Smith has the ability to become a playmaker center on the back 6.  Dominik Volek has the versatility to play anywhere at forward.  Volek will provide some stability on the 3rd line.

Line 3 Defenseman left blue line defender Ryan Murray Everett Silvertips WHL right blue line defender Damon Severson Kelowna Rockets WHL

Line 3 Defenseman Thoughts Damon Severson is a defensive defender playing the blue line anchoring the 3rd line.  Ryan Murray will be a top 5 NHL draft pick in 2012 regardless of the ice time he gets.  Maybe Severson capitalizes with Murray next to him.

Line 4 Forwards Tom Wilson Left Wing/Center/Right Wing Plymouth Whalers OHL, Mike Winther Center Prince Albert Raiders WHL, Daniil Zharkov Center/Right Wing Belleville Bulls

Line 4 Forward Thoughts Mike Winther can be an effective playmaker center who can generate scoring chances.  Wilson and Zharkov have amazing athleticism with the ability to move to two way forward.  Line 4 could be deadly if the 4th line wingers can execute their shots as snipers.

Team Cherry Power Play Team Cherry has tons of offensive defenders.  I think Team Cherry will be really effective if they get scoring chances on the power play.

Team Cherry Penalty Killing Team Cherry has a lack of defensive defenders.  This will hurt Team Cherry on the PK.

Matt Murray Goaltender Sault. Ste Marie Greyhounds OHL Matt Murray started for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds until Dallas Stars 2010 draft pick Jack Campbell got shipped to Dallas.  Murray’s goals allowed average increased from 3.79 to 4.15.  Murray’s save percentage has also dropped from .887 to .872.  Murray has the pads to stop saves up high.  Murray struggles against laser like wrist shots with great speed and power.  Murray is a project goalie.  At this point, I am left with the impression that he’s an AHL backup goalie at best.

Brandon Whitney Goaltender Victoriaville Tigres QMJHL Whitney has been consistent.  I honestly believe he should be starting at goalie for Team Cherry.  I feel like Whitney is a starting AHL goalie with the potential to become an NHL backup down the line.  For now, Whitney needs to be developed in the QMJHL.